Impacts on human systems

Oxford’s research investigating the current and future impacts of climate changes on human systems is diverse. This research contributes to a greater understanding of how the complex planetary climate system will affect elements of human life and interactions between human and wider ecosystems on micro and macro scales.


Research is often collaborative and many of the human systems research programmes are conducted as part of consortia or carried out in partnership with research institutions across the globe.

Many projects focusing on these issues have been carried out at Oxford in the past decade. Current research underway continues to reflect the wide expertise at Oxford in the study of the relationship between man and environment. From the investigation of climate impacts on food security and agriculture in different global contexts through the development of scenarios, to examination of rapid changes in land use and ethnicity in circumpolar communities, Oxford’s research community is currently conducting activity which will advance knowledge and understanding of ways in which human systems stand to be affected by changes to the climate.

This research develops new conceptual and analytical frameworks, enables new ideas and perceptions to be explored and allows conventional thinking to be tested. Knowledge derived from this research can in turn facilitate decision-makers, stakeholders, the research community and society at large about the impact of the climate on our lives, culture and livelihoods.


To see which members of the network are working in this area please go to the ‘People’ page, either by clicking on the People tab in the menu or clicking here >>

Relevant Research Groups and Themes


The Palaeodeserts Project is examining environmental change in the Arabian Desert over the last one million years.

Climate systems and policy

Researching new ways to improve the scientific basis for impacts/adaptation assessments and decision making.

Environmental and climate change economics

Combining economic theory with moral philosophy and environmental science and to draw conclusions about climate change and environmental regulation.

African palaeoclimate and impacts on humans

Studying African palaeoclimates and environments and their impacts on ancient human communities.

Private sector transformation

The research is dedicated to understanding and implementing the role and perspective of the private sector in transitioning to a sustainable, prosperous, resource-constrained economy.


Coordinates and influences research into adapting to climate change.

Food Climate Research Network

The Food Climate Research Network (FCRN) is an interdisciplinary and international network working at the intersection of food, climate, and broader sustainability issues.